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Indiana utility chooses Tsurumi Avant pumps to boost its operations

Lebanon, which sits about 30 minutes northwest of Indianapolis, is already home to nearly 17,000 inhabitants and will soon welcome 800 new homes. Additionally, a major pharmaceutical company has started construction of a new manufacturing campus in the area.

Residential and business growth will require several additional lift stations, and Lebanon Utilities is already gearing up for it. Lebanon currently has 17 stations, with another two under construction. Plans include increasing the total to 40 over the next decade. A recent expansion project has already expanded flow by 1.5 million gal/day to deliver a design capacity of 3.4 million gal/day. When it comes to moving large volumes of wastewater, Tsurumi’s Avant line of pumps can handle flows up to 14,000 GPM.

Lebanon Utilities upgraded a problematic duplex lift station in June 2022 with a pair of Avant MQC Choppers. The result has been trouble-free performance since installation. In addition, the MQC Chopper pumps help Lebanon save both time and money due to reduced callouts. The Avant line, designed to provide long life and reliability, will help support Lebanon’s growth in infrastructure with its wide application range.

One of the two Tsurumi AVANT MQC Chopper pumps at Lebanon Utilities’ wastewater plant. The pumps have provided smooth operation and reduced callouts since installation. 

“We’re trying to be proactive, so I’m excited to order a third unit that will serve as a backup pump,” said Cameron Kearney, the wastewater supervisor with Lebanon Utilities. “Our plan is to establish a system of spare pumps that could be quickly dropped into any of our stations if the need arises — although the Avant pumps haven’t let us down yet!”

To date, the Avant MQC choppers have yet to clog or “rag up”. According to Kearney, the previously installed pumps were problematic, with numerous stoppage issues, resulting in frequent callouts and downtime to the system. AVANT’s chopper design system has eliminated this problem, to date. The reliable performance of the new Tsurumi pumps has saved time and money for the municipality.

“The old pumps couldn’t handle the stuff that was coming in, so we had to manually remove it on several occasions,” explained Kearney. “We’d unclog pumps and think, ‘They should easily be chewing that up and sending it down the line’ — but they rarely did. And we’d inevitably be called out at night or when it was raining to fix them, so we’re all thankful not to be doing that anymore. “

“We’ve never been called out to resolve a clogging situation since installing the AVANT pumps about eight months ago,” Kearney continued. “That’s due to the efficiency of their chopping mechanism which was probably the biggest factor in our purchasing decision.”

Kearney’s colleagues at the plant — Cory Rowland, Chris Chase and Jacob Pearl — said they agree with the substantial improvements seen after the Tsurumi install. The team of wastewater operators also played a part in deciding to move forward in working with the AVANT MQC choppers.

Left to right: Lebanon Utilities Wastewater Operators Jacob Pearl, Chris Chase and Cory Rowland; Tsurumi Regional Sales Manager Joe Ranieri; and Lebanon Utilities Wastewater Supervisor Cameron Kearney. 

Lebanon Utilities has been a customer of Tsurumi distributor BBC Pump and Equipment Company for over 10 years. Lebanon has a successful history with the Tsurumi Cutter series, making Kearney’s and his team’s task of persuading his board to switch directions much easier.

“Their new maintenance team is proactive, so they’re very open to giving new product lines a shot to see if they’re a good fit,” said Taylor Stock, municipal outside sales for BBC. “Given the success they’ve had with other Tsurumi pumps, they were excited to look at our recommendation. The install went flawlessly, and the pumps have been running for nine months without any problems. We’re looking forward to supplying more AVANT pumps to help Lebanon Utilities cope with the challenges the next decade will bring.”

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